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Overall Rating

Awesome: 18.37%
Worth A Look: 26.53%
Pretty Bad: 4.08%
Total Crap: 22.45%

4 reviews, 25 user ratings

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Million Dollar Hotel, The
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by Greg Muskewitz

"Two-cents worth on Wenders' 'Million Dollar Hotel.'"
3 stars

As I made my rounds at Hollywood Video, I also managed to pick up Wim Wenders' latest movie, "The Million Dollar Hotel," which went unreleased in San Diego.

Like a "Clue" for the mentally-handicapped living in the aforementioned hotel, following the suicide/murder of one of the residents, a neck-and-back-brace wearing cop, Mel Gibson (a "fancy Frankenstein") investigates at the behest of the Hollywood mogul father. Jeremy Davies plays the main center-of-attraction, described as the "beggar's butler," a fidgety "freaky-deaky-yanky-noodle" who pines after another one of the tenants (Milla Jovovich), who believes herself to be fictional. We witness Davies suicide as the first order of business, then reverting to his narration "Sunset Boulevard"-style, as he assesses the impact of the investigation on this circus of freaks. For the most part, in the end it leads you to believe that there was no need for an investigation at all (and I guessed what happened with the tar paintings), but then it tries to turn it around with an alternate answer which I didn't except. It became ambiguous as to whether his cajoled confession was in fact fake or not, and whether he was psychologically corrupt and thus persuaded into actually believing it was his fault, or if he really did do it, and needed all this to jog his memory. I have an easier time accepting the former possibility, while the latter would then be unconvincing and weakly developed. While Phedon Papamichael's photography was quite beautifully and effectively used, Wenders tends to perambulate on territory already so well covered by Lynch. The whole thing played to too strange of a beat to be competent. The sideshow of freaks were too sanded, too pat and too constructed for standardized purposes, though it was quite funny to watch Gloria Stuart saying "fuck." Unfortunately, for those few characters who weigh with a bit of interest (Gibson, Jovovich, and the all-but-once-acknowledged Tim Roth), it is as unfocused and distracted as the rest. With Bud Cort, Peter Stormare, Amanda Plummer and Donal Logue. Written by Nicholas Klein and U2's Bono, who also collaborates with the music as usual with Wenders (though many of the songs felt forced in this.)

Final Verdict: C+.

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originally posted: 05/01/01 13:26:20
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User Comments

3/19/10 brian A tone poem in film form. Not for everyone. Mesmerizing. 5 stars
10/07/07 mr. mike not all that bad 3 stars
4/17/06 Adam What a pile of shit.... 1 stars
8/12/05 ES insane people, doing insane things= art house, pretentious le garbage 1 stars
12/26/04 mjoc Man, is this bad!!! Stay away! 1 stars
9/27/04 alicia a bizzare but loveable film with a great deal of window symbolism and fab acting 5 stars
6/02/04 Hannah Fantastic film & a good looking Mel Gibson! 5 stars
3/04/04 sanchia maybe i'm just artsy-fartsy, but i really liked it. it made me cry 5 stars
2/26/02 GM worse than total crap 1 stars
1/22/02 Shameless Stark, surreal, interesting landscape of crazies with one redeeming feature - Mel Gibson 4 stars
1/07/02 Howsoonisnow I like challenging movies. Milla is a beauty queen. Davies kicks ass. 5 stars
8/26/01 Saw It Sucked hard 1 stars
8/23/01 Babybelle Off-center love story in slo-mo for the hard of thinking 4 stars
6/22/01 Craig Wimberly Offbeat, beautifully shot, sensitive love story 4 stars
6/20/01 Jim Garland I thought this was a great film. I thoroughly enjoyed it! 5 stars
6/20/01 salvo saw few things as boring as this crappy film 2 stars
6/01/01 Robert Watts The beautiful and feel good movie of today. The soundtrack is brillant as well, dig it. 5 stars
3/19/01 J.Arcane boring as a dog's ass - ditto 2 stars
3/08/01 Sanja something to think about 4 stars
1/18/01 Spetters Very weird in Lynch kind of way, but strangely compelling. 4 stars
12/24/00 Fleur Starke Strange but beautiful 4 stars
12/03/00 Paul Corcoran Beautiful. Loved it. LOVED it 5 stars
2/16/00 Miles Kemp Crazy madass shit 5 stars
2/15/00 Daniel Nufer some beautiful scenes. 4 stars
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  30-Nov-2000 (MA)

Directed by
  Wim Wenders

Written by
  Nicolas Klein
  Wim Wenders

  Mel Gibson
  Jeremy Davies
  Milla Jovovich
  Donal Logue
  Amanda Plummer
  Julian Sands

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